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The managing executive in post-acquisition management

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Abstract

Managing Executives occupy a pivotal role in the acquisition process. It is virtually inconceivable that major Merger and Acquisitions (M&As) could proceed without their personal sponsorship (Hayward & Hambrick, 1997). They are central to the negotiation and signing for such deals and it is these negotiations that raise questions over how the target company should be run post-acquisition, how it should be configured to fit within the newly expanded group and what sort of strategy may be appropriate for the future. Managing Executives embody their firm’s strategies and so are intimately connected with these issues of organisational fit and strategic rational. With negotiations focussed upon the future of their businesses and their personal places in corporate history, these contests can be very dramatic. The high stakes are evident in the substantial levels of acquired Managing Executive departure post-acquisition. Whilst we can observe that many acquired Managing Executives subsequently leave the enlarged firm, little evidence to date answers the question of why they have been retained or replaced?